The pant and sigh

The spirit of peace
        large and rich and thrifty
that builds vast and populous cities
        that encourages agriculture
and the arts and commerce
        the balance of freedoms
nothing too close
        nothing too far off
neither the stars too far off

The poet who is a workman

        who concentrates the light
who turns a pivot with his finger
        allows no time to stray
is obedient to his conscience
        who understands how
the processes of life grow men
        and women and children
who talks of the soul of eternity
        as manifest in the rose
and in all creatures
        his thoughts hymns
in praise of things
        equable and egalitarian
expecting and believing
        and trusting in what is good
and upright and firm-fibered
        who sees certainties
for what they are
        and beauty for what it is
the preserve of the smile
        and the noble gesture
a beauty beyond the pant
        and sigh of sex
the beauty of fluent truth
in the beauty
        of words that are lashed
to the earth out of which
        all things arise

John Lyons


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